Summer time, my most favourite time of the year, is here and so is your long awaited summer holiday! Perhaps you are going somewhere exotic or just hanging around in your beautiful city. Either way, usually your daily routine changes. Now this is a good thing, doing different things at different times can be invigorating, as new can be exciting. The actual travel, whether flying or driving can be fun, being in a new place and space, enjoying the sunshine, and trying different foods. And perhaps you indulge a little too much, maybe eat rich foods, have more wine and less water. It’s your holiday after all! All of these are what the holiday season is about but nothing wrecks a summer holiday than falling ill. Remember most of your immune system is in your gut, so if it’s not working at an optimal level then you may find yourself in not such a happy place. In Australia loads of Aussies in July (our winter) escape to Bali (your Hawaii) for a few weeks. A huge portion of them are sick there with upset guts we call Bali Belly! Having had it, believe me it definitely upset the beautiful serene spiritual experience of Bali!!
So here are a few tips to help you have an even better holiday.
Before you go off on holidays really think and be honest about where you are going (local or far flung place) and ask these questions:
What is the sanitation like?
Can you safely drink the water?
Can you rely on unpeeled fruits you eat to have been washed in clean water?
Can you be sure the food you consume will be freshly prepared and stored correctly?
Usually you can never be totally 100% sure, so your next line of defense is making sure your gut is strong before you leave for holidays. You don’t have to travel far to get an upset gut. For some like me, a change in routine, time zone, and different foods are enough to unsettle it. You may find constipation is an issue or perhaps the dreaded bloating which makes you even feel worse about walking around in that new bikini or bathing suit. Maybe the very unpleasant flatulence or diarrhea is disconcerting as it’s is a real problem when sharing close living quarters with family and/or friends (done so you could save accommodation money!).
So how best to prepare your gut before traveling?
- Get it clean and functioning well before you set off. Having a series of colon hydrotherapy sessions is a great way to really get your bowel free from existing issues such as stuck, obstructing the bowel lumen faecal matter, parasites, and sluggish peristalsis. These conditions all respond well to a round of colon hydrotherapy sessions.
- Really up your hydration level by ensuring you are well hydrated as that means your bowel also will be. So try to drink fluids preferably lots of purified water. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces daily. If plain water is tough for you maybe try it with some lemon in it (sip through a straw to protect your teeth).
- If not already doing this, start on a program of probiotics. Some great options are the Naturopathic recommended brand HMF. They are of high quality, backed by sound research, and have the ability to balance the microbiome.
- Consider eating some fermented foods daily such as sauerkraut, kefir, or miso as these contain prebiotic compounds that help the good flora to grow and thrive in your gut.
What to remember while you are away:
- We are all used to doing this now, but remember to wash your hands. This is a line of defense against bacterial and viral infections.
- Take the probiotics with you and take the each day. Your bowel will only function if it has the right bacteria flora in it. This bacteria plays a vital role in keeping your gut and therefore your immune system well and at optimal level of functioning.
- Continue eating some fermented foods, maybe you’ll even find some new local traditional or specialty favourites!
- Eat drink and be merry! But also be mindful and try every few days, or ideally one meal a day, to have a super healthy, fibre rich, nutritious meal so you can help support and restore your body’s homeostasis.
And mainly, enjoy your holiday! Get plenty of rest and relaxation as your gut, immune system, and whole health will thank you for it!
(2023 update. Blog originally posted August 9th, 2016)